Keep an Open Mind
Estimated Lesson Time: 3 minutes
We are presented with new ideas every day of our lives. These are the same new ideas that advance our technology, ease suffering, establish peace, and generally make the world a better place in which to live. In order for a new idea to have such a positive effect on society and the human race, it must be accepted by others. Some ideas, such as the use of personal computers, have been accepted rather quickly whereas other ideas, such as world peace, may just be “too idealistic” to be universally accepted. While we cannot force our ideas or beliefs on anyone, we can learn to live with an open mind and accept new ideas that will empower us and bring us closer to success.
Throughout this course, I have hinted at the importance of having an “open mind,” and now I would like to explain why. Someone with an open mind is a person who is willing to accept new ideas and beliefs. In most cases, people have open minds on some subjects and closed minds on others. Unfortunately, many people have closed their minds on subjects in which they have disempowering beliefs. For example, those who were brought up with the belief “...money is the root of all evil,” have a difficult time accepting the positive influences money can have. Those with open minds avoid ignorance and open themselves up to opportunity by agreeing to consider new information.
An open mind is like a good sense of humor—everyone thinks they have one; however, that is not the case. Closed-minded individuals often just consider themselves “cautious,” “decisive” or justify their non-acceptance of new ideas or beliefs in some other way. Here are a few of the most common reasons why not everyone is open-minded.
- Skepticism. Those who have experience in life certainly have had some negative experiences. They have seen that people do or say things for their own benefit and manipulate others. Skepticism is both the backbone of the scientific method as well as a self-defense mechanism that protects us from being taken advantage of, but it can also prevent us from accepting new ideas. Trust your own judgment and agree to consider other ideas and beliefs.
- Stubbornness. Some people just cannot admit they are wrong. Out of pure stubbornness, they will refuse to accept or even listen to any new ideas. If you have an issue with admitting that you are “wrong,” you can, instead, admit to not having all of the information. This is a more graceful way of saying you are wrong. :)
- In too deep. Along the same lines as stubbornness, some people have lived their entire lives with a belief. By changing this belief, they would feel as if they have been “wrong” all this time. In fear of wasted days, months, or even years supporting an incorrect belief, these people would rather close their minds to other beliefs and ideas. Remember that it is not too late to do the right thing. Your journey down the right path begins by first getting off the wrong path.
An open mind will allow you to make better decisions in your life while at the same time helping you to become a more understanding and sympathetic person. Lack of knowledge, or ignorance, on a subject, can be avoided by having an open-minded attitude. You can choose to reject information, beliefs, or ideas after you have considered them, but not before you are even presented with them. Keep an open mind and let success find its way inside.
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)